Nintendo Labo is Nintendo looking outside the box and realizing the box was exactly what they were looking for.
The Nintendo Labo was announced yesterday and is essentially a wild new experiment for the Switch that will allow players to insert the console into assorted pieces of cardboard to create wild new items. It also drops on 4/20 which makes sense because this thing is totally bonkers.
“Nintendo Labo combines the magic of Nintendo Switch with the fun of DIY creations,” the company explains on the Labo website. You’ll start with a piece of cardboard, which you can use to build one of these items, and then you’ll put the Switch into power it up. Once complete you can then play games incorporating your creations. This is called a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) game.
STEAM or STEM is incredibly popular in schools and with young children. It educates kids in a cohesive learning paradigm that is based on real-world applications. For more on STEM check out Live Science. What Nintendo is doing is adding a huge push into the education system. Kind of like how we grew up with Mario Typing.
The trailer, released yesterday afternoon, shows the Nintendo Labo being used to make music and steer remote-controlled robots. It’s incredible. Watch it below:
Nintendo Labo will be out April 20 and will come in two different sets. The Variety Kit (for $70 USD) and the Robot Kit (for $80 USD), and Nintendo is calling them both Toy-Cons, a play on the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers (duh).
Per Nintendo, the $70 Variety Kit includes: “two Toy-Con RC Cars, a Toy-Con Fishing Rod, a Toy-Con House, a Toy-Con Motorbike and a Toy-Con Piano.” Here are some explanations for all of those:
- Toy-Con RC Car: Insert the Left and Right Joy-Con into your newly built RC Car and control its movement using touch screen controls on the Nintendo Switch console. The HD Rumble feature in the Joy-Con controllers will cause vibrations that move the car in the direction you choose. Materials to construct two RC Cars are included.
- Toy-Con Fishing Rod: Construct the Fishing Rod with an active, rotating reel that is attached by string to a cradle holding the Nintendo Switch console. Catch one of many exotic fish shown swimming on the Nintendo Switch screen by casting your Fishing Rod and unwinding the reel to lower the hook. Once you feel a vibration from the Joy-Con inserted in the reel, you must tug the Fishing Rod upward and crank the reel quickly to try and complete the catch!
- Toy-Con House: By inserting various assembled blocks into openings in the sides and bottom of the House, you can interact with, play games with and feed a cute creature on the front-facing Nintendo Switch screen. Each differently shaped block is detected by the IR Motion Camera on the Right Joy-Con inserted on top of the House.
- Toy-Con Motorbike: Insert each Joy-Con into an assembled set of handlebars to drive a motorbike on the Nintendo Switch screen. Pressing the ignition button starts the engine, while twisting the right handle activates the throttle. Leaning your body or turning the handlebars left and right controls the motorbike.
- Toy-Con Piano: After assembling a beautifully crafted 13-key piano and inserting the Nintendo Switch console and Joy-Con, you can experiment with your own musical creations by pressing different keys. You can even insert different assembled knobs to create new sound effects and tones!
Wow $70+ bucks for cardboard you’re probably thinking. Has the world gone mad? Not really. There’s a lot in each package.
Let’s take a look:
•28 Cardboard Sheets (Kits have multiples for backups/designing)(one extra sheet for customization?).
•3 Reflective Sheets (for design).
•3 Sponge Sheets (Foam paper?).
•Various colours of String.
•Various Eyelets (metal circle to put string through. (thanks /u/Spectre_II).
•Many Elastic bands with spares.
•And a Game! With many games on it!
-There’s 5 “Kits” overall in the starter pack
•The Car (Vibrating Vehicle for now).
•The Fishing Rod.
GAMES are seperate to KITS. Each Kit has more than 1 Game! For example, the bike and Piano both have 2 different games shown for them. Each Kit is a CONTROLLER, not a single game.
That’s a whole wack of awesomeness.
If I was to take a guess I think that the new Yoshi Switch title will be coming out around the same time. Take a look at that trailer again:
Yoshi’s in a cardboard world! Yoshi’s living in a Labo Land. Who knows how Nintendo will incorporate Yoshi and Labo but I am excited!
There’s no doubt in my mind that Labo won’t be a success. The announcement alone added $1.4 billion in corporate value to Nintendo. That’s crazy.
4/20 can’t come fast enough and never forget Arby’s did it first.